Dec 162011

When people look back in 2011 in music a decade from now, one name will come to mind: Adele. In our little world of cover songs, she dominated. Everyone covered Adele this year. It’s not just that we saw more covers of “Rolling in the Deep” than any other song; they beat out second place (probably “Pumped Up Kicks”) by like a factor of five! We generally try to look for larger cover trends in these annual wrap-ups, but it’s hard to remember anything else from this year except the year-long onslaught of Adele covers hitting our mailbox.

There’s only one “Rolling in the Deep” cover in this year’s list though. The rest are all over the place. Some of the artists listed built their covers with lush soundscapes, thick beats, and intricate string work. Others just took guitars or pianos and bowled us over with the emotion in their voices. There may not be much of an overarching “Year in Covers” narrative, but that means there’s a cover or two for everyone. From feel-good takes on rap songs to kill-yourself versions of pop songs, this year’s list features flips, flops, and genre switcheroos of all sorts. A good cover should be informed by the source material but stand on its own, and we’ll be unrolling the 50 finest examples of songs doing just that all week. Start with #50-41 on the next page and check back daily as we count down to the best cover of 2011.

A few weeks ago, we fell in love with Holmes’ drastically reimagined cover of Ice Cube’s “It was a Good Day.” We weren’t the only ones either; one commenter called it potentially “the best rap cover ever.” It served as good incentive to check out his covers album titled – wait for it – Covers. Now we have a second reason: a whimsical video for his version of Queen’s “Bicycle Race.” Continue reading »

Piano-rocker Holmes, born Roy Shakked, released an album of covers this week that includes drastic re-interpretations of songs by Elvis Presley, Genesis, Queen, Macy Gray, Massive Attack and this priceless take on “It Was A Good Day,” Ice Cube’s gangsta-rap ode to joy. Shakked claims that each cover sounds totally different from the original “to cast the lyrics in a new light,” which this one certainly does. Continue reading »

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